Charisma, vocal beauty and intelligence are just some qualities that describe Angel Joy Blue. A lyric soprano who has conquered many of the leading opera companies in the world is about to embark in yet another journey performing Robert Schumann’s oratory “Paradise and the Peri.”
Schumann is more known for his symphonic works as well as piano, cello and solo works. However, it’s hard to hear his voice work sung in recitals. But Blue, who has championed unknown works, is bringing this masterpiece to modern audiences.
The performances, under conductor Danielle Gatti, mark her first time singing the work and she will be doing the part of Peri. The oratorio was complete in 1843 and was later published as Schumann’s Op. 50. The work has been praised for its flowery, Eastern-inspired verbiage of the libretto. Even Wagner praised it when it first premiered.
Blue then continues her hectic schedule in April with Michaela in “Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Hamburg Opera before singing Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” at the Royal Festival Hall. Her operatic journey will continue as she takes on roles in Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” and Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” this season as well as the title role in “La Bohème.”
Described as “One of the Outstanding Voices of her generation” and “a gift American Soprano” there should be no doubt that Blue will dominate these works and create unforgettable performances.
Blue’s operatic career took off when she was a finalist in 2009 at the Operalia competition and won first place in the Zarzuela competition and went on to win second place in the general competition. She has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Emerging Young Entertainers Award, and the Redlands Bowl Competition.
From there she went on to sing in Madrid, Chicago, London, Dresden, Valencia and Milan among others. Among some of her memorable roles are Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Micaela in Bizet’s “Carmen,” Musetta and Mimì in Puccini’s “La Bohème” and Liu in Puccini’s “Turandot.” She has also performed Berg’s “Lulu,” Britten’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Les Contes d’Hoffman.”
Aside from her work on the operatic stage Blue has also been a philanthropist and was a featured soloist on the Madrilenos por Haiti concert with La Orquesta Clasica de Espana in Madrid, Spain. She also took part in the annual AIDS Gala in Düsseldorf, Germany. which raised €142,000 to help those effected by AIDS and HIV in both Germany and South Africa.
Additionally Blue was a model and beauty Queen. She was the recipient of the Miss Hollywood contest and was the first and only African-American to hold the title of Miss Apple Valley California. She has also been the presenter for the Cardiff Singer of the World competition and she will reprise her role in the competition this year.
For those who have never heard Angel Blue, Opus Arte released her first solo album in 2014 entitled “Joy Alone.” The album includes works by Gerwhin as well as zarzuela and Lieder. She is accompanied by Ian Burnside on piano.